Jaguars send mixed signals with assistant

January, 18, 2011
1/18/11
6:25
PM ET
The Jaguars denied the Rams permission to talk their offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter, about their open offensive coordinator job, according to Chris Mortensen.

Koetter’s got cause to be pretty unhappy about that.

Wouldn’t you be, if your boss, Jack Del Rio, had this exchange with reporters at his season wrap-up news conference on January 4?
You talked about the core continuity with the coaching staff. Will you give them permission to look elsewhere?

“Yeah, we’ve got a good staff. I spoke with Mr. [Wayne] Weaver about that and I talked to the staff yesterday about that. It’s not uncommon in today’s NFL, it’ll occur every now and then. Our guys understand that but in terms of wanting them to do what’s best for themselves and their family, absolutely. They have to do that. I will always support that but we have a good staff and they believe in what we’re doing and I think you’ll see that our staff will remain intact.”

The Jaguars gave the Broncos permission to talk to Koetter about their top job, and while he finished in the top three he lost out to veteran head coach John Fox.

Denying the Rams permission to talk to him seems to me to run counter to what Del Rio said. Did he go back on his word or get overruled?

The team declined to comment.

If Koetter could have gotten a long-term deal with the Rams, it surely would have been better for him and his family than working 2011 in Jacksonville, provided there are games to work, and seeing his contract run out at the end of the season.

Seeing your employer deny you permission to discuss a much more secure job when your boss vouched “support” wouldn’t leave most people happy worker bees.

I have little doubt Koetter will work just as hard this season as he would have before this. But say things go well for him and he’s a coaching free agent in 2011. Might it be a factor for him then if he has multiple opportunities?

Surely Jacksonville can now couch Del Rio’s comments and indicate their intention was not to stand in the way of a coaches’ upward mobility as opposed to a lateral move.

If that’s what Del Rio meant or what the Jaguars intended, then it’s what he should have said.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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